Why the correct bonsai pot is important

We have so many great bonsai potters in Europe my particular favourite being Gordon Duffett. The tradition of craft pottery in the UK is particularly strong so it is no surprise that here in the UK we have such a wealth of talent that we can tap into… here is the rub! We spend years on creating our trees, getting them to show standard yet failing at the final fence because the pot we choose simply does not match the tree.

Here are two examples. The first is David Barlows Noelanders winning Beech raft, the original show pot was a cheap Chinese pot, the colour was wrong, the pot was ‘ungainly’ and the size simply too big. The final Gordon Duffett pot is perfect, given as a gift to David by Terry Foster (because Terry knew that it was perfect and was happy that it worked so well) the second is my ‘Fat Guy’ hawthorn.

This tree fitted so tightly in the first pot that the orientation was not good, the tree needed to be rotated 20 degrees to improve the movement of the trunk. The new Pot (also by Duffett) is deeper by 5cm/2″ and the sides of the pot have a slight taper… this add ‘lightness’ to the image.

I will be posting a movie of repotting the hawthorn here on this website

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The Noelanders Trophy 2012 winners report

Having just returned from The Noelanders Trophy, visiting friend’s gardens and sharing some great stories it’s hard to imagine a better weekend for a bonsai artist to experience. Arriving mid day on Friday it soon became clear that this event would indeed be the best ever, in terms of quality of trees, organisation and enthusiasm for the art.

It is strange but the amount of ‘Brits’ at the Trophy appears to be getting larger every year, great to see Kevin Willson, John Armitage, Simon Temblett, Simon Jones all showing trees, and Steve Tolley harping back to “Tony two trees!” does he not know that I now have three!  (You are so 1990’s Mr. Tolley) … And some of the Brits coming away with nominations despite tough competition from the rest of Europe with Simon Temblett winning two awards and the tree that I presented for David Barlow also securing two awards, the “Sonderpreise” awarded by Bonsai-Museum Düsseldorf being dedicated exclusively to European trees, in particular when they are cultivated in a very naturally and typical “European”-way/style… its a nice feeling knowing that I have helped a great guy like David secure YET ANOTHER award for this wonderful bonsai. A full list and photos of the winners and can be seen on Bonsai Eejits blog.

I know that there are HUNDREDS of photos available online, a great selection is available from Nik Rozman and  Jeremy Norbury
I will be posting lots of videos from The Noelanders Trophy throughout this week so keep coming back to see the next instalment.

Gingko Award Winner Beech Raft created over 7 years from Poor Material